10: Mrs. Havisham in Great Expectations: What a witch. Her bitterness is at least partially responsible for keeping Pip and Estella apart (although Pip is kind of an indecisive jerk too). This is the literary couple I most want to make it, despite it being totally irrational to root for a literary couple.
|South Park Havisham|
9. Glen Waddell in Bastard Out of Carolina; I've seen some lists with Humbert Humbert on them, which I totally agree with; he's a creep. However, he looks like a cocker spaniel in comparison to this repulsive child molester.
8. Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale: I assign this book to my students and sometimes they pick up on the fact that the Aunts are really some of the worst of all evils in this book. The Commander is bad, but we start to learn that he is also affected by the regime and its all-encompassing power. Aunt Lydia, though? No redeeming qualities.
7. McTeague inMcteague : a Story of San Francisco: Along with his wife Trina, it is really greed that does McTeague in. Plus he has a caveman face and can be really horribly abusive.
6. Patrick Bateman in American Psycho: Bateman is the shallowest serial killer in all of literature. He is truly loathsome and, on top of that, really boring. Who wants to hear about your facial cleansing products? Give it a rest.
|Art by Jaxene|
5. Rochester in Jane Eyre: He's creepy and he keeps his wife in the attic. And this is the love interest? I know some people aren't going to like this, but I think Jane is better than that.
4. Manley Pointer in "Good Country People" Underneath the veneer of an innocent Bible salesman, lies... well, I don't want to ruin the story for you if you haven't read it, since it is one of the greatest ever. What I will tell you is that Manley, besides having a super phallic name (good one Flannery), is definitely a dick.
3. Jason Compton in Sound and the Fury: I don't like Jason. He thinks he can tell everyone what to do, and he has the clearest narrative in the story only because Faulkner is portraying him as the white, male, top of the power structure in the South. And that's not a good thing.
2. Big Brother in 1984: I know, Big Brother isn't a real person, but I think all-seeing, all-knowing, paranoia-inducing even though probably non-existing panopticons are big jerks.
1. Chillingsworth in The Scarlet Letter: It has been a few lists since I've included my darling Hawthorne. Chillingsworth ruins Hester's life by lying and he looks really creepy and his name is Chillingsworth. Hawthorne is always telling us something with those names...
It was a lot easier to come up with these jerks than I thought it would be. I guess every good story needs an antagonist.